James Russell Baker, 98, of Lancaster, Ky, passed away Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at VA Medical Center in Lexington. He was born in Lancaster on July 20, 1923 to the late Sidney and Susie Baker. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Doris Helen Baker.
James served as a Buck Sergeant in the Army and was a sharpshooter in WWII where he was awarded the Purple Heart. He was a lifelong farmer and also worked for many years in the parts department at Paul Miller Ford. He was a member of Forks of Dix River Baptist Church and an avid fan of the Kentucky Wildcats.
James believed in hard work and worked hard all his life without complaint. He was a giver and a Christian. He loved to talk and tell stories. He loved to see how hard your grip was when you shook hands. He was a leader and for many years he taught Sunday school, coached men’s fast pitch soft ball, and was in a bowling league. He and his wife loved playing cards with friends. He was still winning most of the games of Rummy right up to his last.
Surviving is a son, Ricky K. Baker(Kimberly) of Buena Vista; two daughters: Darlene Baker Hensley(Rick) of Whitley City and Lisa Baker McCane(Harlan) of Mt Hebron; a sister, Kathleen "Shug" Tatum of Henderson, Kentucky, four grandchildren: Breah Sebastian(Billy) Desera Coate (Corey), Jamin T. McCane(Nicole) and Kara McCane Hubbuch(Michael); four step-grandchildren: Amber Franceschi(Luis), Lauren Royalty, Charles Hensley(Amy) and Gabriel Hensley(Sandy); eight great-grandchildren: Dalton Sebastian, Morgan Sebastian, Calista Coate, Daniel McCane, Devon McCane, Trenton Hubbuch, Kodee Hubbuch and Laythan Hubbuch; eleven step-great grandchildren, Cody Hensley(Kelly), Charley Renee Pianovski(Tim), Kirsten Hensley(John), Braydon Coate, Havana Franceschi(Jon Jon), Dalton Franceschi, Lou Franceschi, Evianna Franceschi, Lexie Franceschi, Lane Royalty, and Eli Ransdell; a step great-great grandchild, Lane Hensley, and many nieces and nephews.
James is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, his daughter Vicki Lynn Baker, his step-great grandson, Alex Hensley and his siblings, Elizabeth “Sis” Marshall, Oneva “Nev” Ray, and Mason Baker.
Visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday June 12, 2022 at Spurlin Funeral home in Lancaster, Ky. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday June 13, 2022 at Spurlin Funeral Home in Lancaster with Bro. Jerry officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at Lancaster Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Larry Sparks, Charles Hensley, Jamin McCane, Dalton Sebastian, Michael Hubbuch, and Corey Coate.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Luis Franceschi, Gabriel Hensley, Eddie Woods, Gary Sparks, Michael Barker, Jeff Barker, Joey Barker, Kendall Barker, Ryan Preston, Glendan Barker and Roger Woods.
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